Despite looking like complicated pieces of machinery, metal detectors are extremely easy to use.
Before you even turn on your handheld metal detector, the first step is to familiarise yourself with the code of conduct.
If you are detecting on someone’s land, ensure you have permission from them and an agreement in place in case you find something valuable.
An important initial step is practise your sweeping technique.
While this might sound a little pointless, sweeping with a bad technique will not only mean you’re less likely to pick up goodies, it may also result in a few aches and pains!
The basic technique is to keep your metal detector low and slow.
It shouldn’t touch the ground but it should be close enough for signals to get down into the soil.
Practise before you go and test out different metals, you can even bury a couple of coins if you’re really committed!
Sweeping in one direction at a time gives you the best chance of finding something, as well as slightly overlapping each sweep so that you don’t miss any patches of ground.
Keep the search coil parallel to the ground and stay quiet so you can hear even the faint signals.
If you pick up a signal, reduce the size of the area and continue to sweep slowly until you get something stronger.
Once you’ve pinpointed the spot, clear the surface and check again for a signal.
Remove a few layers of soil and try again if the object is not immediately visible.
Remember that the object could be in the soil you have just dug up.
Once you have found the item, run the coil over the area again to make sure there’s nothing else around – you don’t want to miss out on buried treasure because you were too hasty!